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H. Beringer

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Modus Dimicandi
Method of Fighting
MS G.B.f.18a 123v.png
Ascribed to H. Beringer
Archetype(s) MS G.B.f.18a (1418-28)
Manuscript(s) MS Q.566 (1479)
Concordance by Michael Chidester
Translations Deutsch-Übersetzung

Magister H. Beringer was a 15th century writer credited with recording a poem on fencing with some connection to the Recital of Johannes Liechtenauer. It is first recorded in the MS G.B.f.18a (ca. 1418-28), and thus predates all records of Liechtenauer's teachings. The opening of the verse includes a blessing indicating that Beringer was deceased at the time of writing. With only a very common initial and last name, it is difficult to identify Beringer as any historical person; James Acutt suggests that he may have been Heinrich Beringer of Wismar, thereby placing both Beringer and Liechtenauer as priests, but there is no strong corroborating evidence.[1]

The extreme difference in the order of verses between Beringer and Liechtenauer, along with the fact that Beringer's text includes only half[2] of one section of Liechtenauer's Recital, makes a direct transmission from one master to the other seem unlikely. It may be that both men were heritors of an older oral tradition in which the exact sequence of verses was not set, or it may be that Beringer's verse represents just one of the teachings that Liechtenauer received and compiled over the course of the journeys described in MS 3227a.[3]

Beringer's verse was recapitulated by Hans Folz in the MS Q.566 (1479), but in an unattributed and garbled form indicates he did not copy from the MS G.B.f.18a. The fact that this version includes four couplets recognizable from Liechtenauer but omitted from the Beringer version suggests that Folz's source may have been a more complete version.


In the presentation below, the teaching has been arranged in verses for clarity; line divisions are determined based on rhyme scheme and extrapolation from Liechtenauer. Hans Folz's verses have been rearranged to match the sequence given by Beringer, and the verses that are not found in Beringer have been inserted based on their positions in Folz and checked against Liechtenauer's verse.

Additional Resources


  1. James Acutt. "Magister H. Beringois: An investigation into ThULB Jena: Ms.G.B.f.18a (Bl. 123va-b)". Chivalry. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  2. 113 of the 218 lines.
  3. See MS 3227a, fol. 13v. "There is just one art of the sword, and... Master Liechtenauer internalized and applied it quite completely and correctly—not that he discovered and conceived it himself, but rather, he traveled through many lands and sought the legitimate and truthful art for the sake of experiencing and knowing it."
  4. Difficult to read, could also be jn.
  5. Hard to read because the word is crossed out.
  6. Word illegible.